• The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) stated in Case C-215/01 Schnitzer [2003] that simply because someone is providing services regularly, for a long period of time in a Member State, that this does not make them established in another Member State.

Facts of the Case

  • The applicant hired a Portuguese company to complete a vast quantity of plastering work in Germany. The applicant however, was fined for doing so, because the Portuguese company was not established in Germany (they were not on the tradespeople register).
  • The applicant challenged the fine because he said, the requirement to register in Germany was incompatible with the free movement of services under Article 56 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Issues in Case C-215/01 Schnitzer [2003]

  • The issue in this case was whether the German law on requirement of establishment was compatible with Community law, on the free movement of services and the right to establishment

The CJEU held in this case that:

  • The CJEU held that simply because someone, or some company, is doing work regularly and professionally in another Member State, that they are not registered or established in another Member State, even though they do have a right to establish themselves in another Member State.

The CJEU specifically stated that:

  • [37] “Once those conditions are satisfied, any entry required on the trades register of the host Member State cannot be other than automatic, and that requirement cannot constitute a condition precedent for the provision of services, result in administrative expense for the person providing them or give rise to an obligation to pay subscriptions to the chamber of trades.” [I-14884]
  • [38] “That applies not only to providers of services who intend to supply services in the host Member State only occasionally, or even a single time, but also to those who supply or wish to supply services in a repeated or more or less regular manner.”
  • [40] “The answer to the question referred for a preliminary ruling must therefore be that Community law on freedom to provide services precludes a business from being subject to an obligation to be entered on the trades register which delays, complicates or renders more onerous the provision of its services in the host Member State if the conditions prescribed by the directive governing recognition of professional qualifications which is applicable to pursuit of that activity in the host Member State are satisfied…
  • … The mere fact that a business established in one Member State supplies identical or similar services in a repeated or more or less regular manner in a second Member State, without having an infrastructure there enabling it to pursue a professional activity there on a stable and continuous basis and, from the infrastructure, to hold itself out to, amongst others, nationals of the second Member State, cannot be sufficient for it to be regarded as established in the second Member State.”